HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- A funeral was held for Lucia Bremer, the 13-year-old girl killed last week in her Far West End Henrico neighborhood, at St. Mary's Catholic Church on Gayton Road on Saturday.
The service for the Quioccasin Middle School student was streamed on the church's YouTube channel for those who could not attend because of COVID restrictions.
Family asks for prayers for both families, pastor says
The eighth-grader's family previously asked for prayers for all involved in what they called a senseless act of gun violence, according to St. Mary's.
"Her family has asked all of us to pray: to pray for the repose of Lucia's soul, to pray for her loved ones who have experienced an unthinkable loss, and to pray for the family of one who has been arrested for this crime," read a post last Sunday on St. Mary's Facebook page.
The post continued by saying that says Lucia's name is derived by the Latin word for light.
"All over Richmond, people are placing a single candle in their windows, honoring the light of her life by a simple act of love - a love which stands against the darkness. Other neighbors are tying green ribbons on their homes," the post read.
Memorial honors slain Quioccasin student
Lucia was remembered as a student who "radiated happiness" and was "brave, hardworking, and kind to everyone,"according to officials at the school she attended.
Quioccasin Middle School Principal Melanie Phipps wrote an email to student, parents and staff a day after Lucia's death about the "heartbreaking loss" that "shocked and saddened our community."
"Lucia was wise beyond her years. Talking to her didn’t feel like talking to a middle schooler," Phipps wrote. "Lucia was exceptional; truly one-of-a-kind... Her smile would light up the entire room."
Meagan Cinder, who lives in the Gayton Forest West subdivision where the shooting happened, was stunned by the news.
"I just never thought this would happen in our neighborhood," she said a day after the violence. "It’s horrible."
Cinder said Lucia had planned to "help run" an Easter egg hunt for the neighborhood's young children planned for Sunday.
Students spent hours in the rain at Quioccasin Middle School last Sunday creating a new memorial to honor Lucia, according to a neighbor. They tied green ribbons on the fencing surrounding the football field and spelled out "Lucia" in flowers.
Bond denied for 14-year-old suspect
The 13-year-old was walking with a friend along Hickoryridge Road in the Gayton Forest West subdivision around 4:30 p.m. when someone approached the girls and shot Bremer, according to police. Bremer was pronounced deceased later that evening.
The gunman ran away from the shooting scene.
Police were seen taking someone from a home on nearby Falconbridge Drive into custody Saturday.
Crime Insider sources told Jon Burkett the home on Falconbridge Drive is the home of a person of interest in the shooting.
"Henrico Police has the person in custody responsible for yesterday's homicide. During the early afternoon hours, Henrico detectives took a juvenile male into custody after obtaining petitions for second-degree murder, possession of a firearm by a juvenile, and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. The juvenile, whose identity is being withheld because of his age, will be transported, and processed at the Henrico County Sheriff's Office," Henrico Police spokesperson Lt. Matt Pecka wrote in an email. "
The 14-year-old suspect was denied bond when he appeared via video for his arraignment hearing Monday at Henrico County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.
Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney Shannon Taylor because of the suspect's age, her office is still choosing to withhold his name.
However, given the seriousness of the crime, Taylor could still choose to try the 14-year-old as an adult.
Typically under Virginia law, commonwealth's attorneys have a time period of 21 to 31 days to decide whether or not to try a juvenile as an adult, but Taylor said the judge in this case agreed to waive that time period.
Murder was not 'racially motivated' or gang-related, police say
Police have not yet said what may have prompted the shooting, but have warned about "unfounded" and "inaccurate" posts on social media. Officials with the police department called "speculations" that the murder was being investigated as a hate crime or gang-related "unfounded."
"It is early in the investigation, however, there is no evidence indicating this crime was racially motivated." officials with the department posted Wednesday afternoon on Twitter. "There is also no evidence to suggest the suspect, victim, or witnesses were involved in gang activity."
Henrico Police Chief Eric English noted that "while homicide investigations are complex and must be investigated thoroughly with a great deal of follow up, at this stage of the investigation, these allegations have no validity or credibility."
Additionally, police said that if more witnesses come forward, the department may not release those details publicly for the sake of the investigation and court proceedings.
"The determination of the suspect being tried as a juvenile or adult is made by Henrico Commonwealth’s Attorney," the department noted.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call Henrico Police at 804-501-5794.